Focused his efforts in the fast emerging Cannabis space starting in 2014, Brian Harris, founder of GreenRush Talent Network became a resource for many Cannabis entrepreneurs and senior leadership teams in the California market.
Since then, Brian has built a deep network of talent in California and currently cultivated a strong internal team. Prior to starting a cannabis focused recruitment company, he founded the consumer goods ecommerce company, ReignCharm, LLC in Los Angeles, CA. His advisory and talent network are tapped by some of the most recognized, well-branded and long established cannabis organization throughout California. 
While building his internal team for GreenRush Talent Network, he is developing a CPG product line that will serve the cannabis consumer via e-commerce; website, 3rd party platforms.  
Brian graduated from Centenary University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing. He lives with his wife and Aussie shepherd and now splits his time between Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO. 
He can be found at

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I moved from New Jersey to California in 2013, it was a bit of a culture shock. Never had I met so many people in one dense area who could consume such an amount of avocados and IPA’s in my life.  After being in LA for only one week however, my house was stocked with amazing (and cheap) avocados, coupled with delicious local beer. Needless to say, I was hooked! California offered me a legal cannabis industry which I began to explore and map out an ancillary offering focused on the talent acquisition these companies needed for success within a flourishing industry. Corporate and agency recruiting was already in by blood, at that point it was just acclimating to the new world of cannabis in the West. 
If I may, I’d like to dial back the clock for a quick minute and explain the “GreenRush” moniker.  I completely understand that the word green or color green, flower, bud and canna and any assimilating insignia may be overdone in this fast evolving space, but GreenRush has a different meaning for me. 
My great, great, great grandfather moved to San Fransico from New York City in the 1860’s, during the Gold Rush and opened a ancillary business. He sold equipment and other items to the fortune seeking miners in the mid to late 1800’s. After earning a considerable amount of money for th day, he moved back to New York and purchased real estate in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and 60 Broadway downtown. I’ve very fortunately, always had a strong connection with my family and then had my own sense of calling to the West Coast. My wife and I planned our move West over several months, sold all non-necessities, packed our belongings into two cars and off we went; California or bust! 
This is where my entrepreneurial 3x Great Grandfather ties in. He, took a horse and carriage cross country, to California in the dead center of the Gold Rush and found massive success in 1860’s. Then, about 150+ years later, I drive West in an air conditioned SUV… into the dead center of cannabis.  My goal was to have success as he had found and keep him close. My family has articles from the New York Times in the late 1880’s about his adventures and business in CA. Very inspirational! 
With all this being said, I have planted myself within a flourishing industry, full of positive, forward thinking individuals poised to share in a whole new emeging market. An otherwise entrepreneurs’ dream. This get’s me so fired up, it’s sick! I get to participate in and add value to this “Green Rush”.  

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The Cannabis industry provides free weekly rolloercoaster rides!  From a recruitment lens, each week or so looks very different and it’s evolving quickly. What’s interesting is visiting the massive indoor grow operations and seeig the various stages of growth, extraction labs and related facilities. And of course the energetic and creative cannabis events that are now held all over.  It’s all an exciting time indeed.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Well I guess this is more kind of silly than funny – I had taken a call with a candidate at about 7:30a on his commute in to work for a phone call to discuss a position a client had open. I took the call and after, I got a cup of coffee and got my day moving along – I quickly got busy. Now were deep into the day and it’s about 4:30ish and come across a resume and profile of a someone I had an interest to call for one of the leaderrship roles I was working on. I started introduced myself and started asking him if he might consider the Cannabis industry.. next thing I know he threw out a quick Dad joke at me and said “my wife says I have a bad memory but I think you win you not remember talking with me some hours ago, today am?”. He laughed it off as I came to my senses but I felt pretty darn stupid that I just spoke to this person that day and just totally blanked and didn’t remember him one bit. I was bringing the enthusiasm for my client on that second call as I really liked his history so when he stopped me I felt really pretty silly. But hey, lesson learned. Take notes – stay organized. 

Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Absolutely! We started in California in 2014 and now have a presence in multiple states; Colorado, Oregon, New York and Nevada. We see the New York – Florida corridors starting to open and will eventually become a major area of focus. California however, will more than likely always be our biggest market. 
In additon to growing GreenRush Talent Network, I’m soon launching a consumer goods product line focused on Cannabis and CBD consumers.  If you follow my personal LinkedIn profile, information on the launch of the new website and products will be coming end of the year. To say it’s an exciting time, is really an understatement. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
So easy!  My wife Karen. There isn’t a chance I’d be where I am if she didn’t support my entrepreneurial endeavors. She paid the bills for many months while I figured this thing out. Karen is a solid post in the spirit of my business. 
My Mom and Dad are entrepreneurs and operate an offset, wide format digital prinitng business in Hillsborough, New Jersey. My parents rock! They’ve been a steady support system and source of information since starting this business. 
Friends of mine and business mentor Barry Turner of LennyLarry’s has been a support system, along with his wife Cheryl who doubles as our freakin’ awesome real esate agent/advisor. Barry and Cheryl are a powerhouse team who have helped with both personal and professional growth. 

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
GreenRush Talent Network is focused on building long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.  We’re not always coming out ahead on every deal we make, but sometimes it makes sense for the good of the business relationship and the company that we’re truly partnering with.  A lot of heart, thought, late nights, early mornings and weekends go into our service. (Yes, it goes far beyond clicking the connect button on LinkedIn or Indeed.) It means putting relentless effort into the needs of the people we seek to do business with. There’s nothing extremely clever about our approach. No pithy slogans or tag lines. Just kindness and honesty about how we go about identifying skilled talent. 

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
Some things that excite me:

  1. The rules are not written yet in this emerging industry. It’s still very much the wild west.  It’s awesome! It’s like taking your snowboard down an untouched mountain and there’s just you and a few others who’re cutting and carving our way down the hill to a successful run. 
  2. Product development in this space is at a fever pitch, it’s fantastic. 
  3. The pace is incredibly fast. GreenRush Talent Network, being an ancillary business can pivot and scale quickly compared to say a licensed cannabis producer. 
  4. The events being produced are an amazing mecca for information and networking. I have gained a ton of knowledge from these events and have earned myself several clients.  Hall of Flowers and MJ BIZCON are two favorites. 
  5. I’m excited to launch my product line that’s for the Cannabis and CBD consumer in the coming months. 
  6. I’m genuinely excited for my colleagues and friends in the space who are building companies, hiring talented people, selling their products and services in this industry and sharing that success with others in this fever pitch environment. Genuinely fun. 

Several things that concern me:

  1. The “taxes are just too damn high” and the illegal market is growing, not slowing.
  2. Lack of man power to enforce all of the laws and regulations, which change from county to county and state to state. The industry is developing products and services faster than local governments can regulate it and keep the playing field level. 
  3. Related to talent – Ghosting (for the lack of a better word) is a thing in the cannabis space. I havn’t seen it in a while but it unfortunately happens between both candidates and companies. 
  4. Concerns over pesticides and various chemicals from the extraction process as cannabis becomes a commercialized commidity in more states. 
  5. The ban of all vape products in Massachusetts and and flavored vape in Washington State. 

Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each. 

  • I wish someone told how difficult to operate in this space is, even for an ancillary company. We work with founders and senior leadership in every part of the cannabis industry, in multiple states. Some of our clients are labs throughout CA, NV and OR. These labs can lose funding and licensing if they are not compliant for a host of reasons. It’s the Wild West. 
  • Pick your clients wisely. Vet before giving your valueable time if you’re a new service based company.
  • Hire internally much faster when I started. That doesn’t mean grow super fast but I needed way more help for the work load I had. It slowed me down while my competitors hired and delegated that work load, to continue growing their business. Got it.. lesson learned. 
  • Have a singular focus and complete a task before moving on. It’s going to come fast when it does, so be super organized. 

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Don’t smoke or ingest your product during work hours! It’s a liability. Keep it professional. You can’t sit at your desk and sip on a IPA while at work – Cannabis is the same.  

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As the stigma continues to fall away, somewhat like the end of prohibition in the 1920’s, we are once again starting to see the benefits of these plants for medicinal purposes. I’ve been very fortunate to witness the positive benefits of cannabis in my home state of California now for the past 6-years. From cancer patients who find relief from nausea, ease from pain and mood elevation, to assisting with epileptic seizures, muscle spasms, MS, arthritis, depression and more, these plants have value.
There is a resurgence and reintroduction to these plants from people who were born in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. That’s 10’s of millions of people in the US alone, to reintroduce this emerging market to and it will benefit many. I’m an advocate for anyone trying a plant to medicate versus a man made pill to medicate. This is the time to leave behind the stoner stigma of the uneducated past. This plant will inspre many to move into new scientific jobs and exploit the many usages from this plant along with inspiring many more entrepreneurs to build here, in this amazing industry. That, will certianly end up helping a lot of people. 

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This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us